Receiving Wide Coverage. ...
More on Jenkins' Ouster: The Journal has an article, based on interviews with anonymice, that paints a very negative portrait of ex-Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins. For one, Jenkins liked to tell people he had a "warm working relationship" with Barclays Chairman John McFarlane, who this week fired Jenkins and named himself the interim CEO. McFarlane was apparently miffed that it was taking so long for Jenkins to fix Barclays' myriad problems and also that Jenkins had a limited knowledge of how to fix a sprawling investment bank, as his professional background was primarily in retail and business banking. In perhaps the most damning anecdote, analysts had a joke amongst themselves in which they would ask Jenkins tough questions about financial numbers during conference calls; analysts knew Jenkins couldn't answer those questions and he would always turn the question over to Tushar Morzaria, the finance director. The story includes more anecdotes that portray Jenkins as either too aloof or too focused on the wrong things. Some Barclays sales people who attended a business trip with Jenkins were excited about spending time with the CEO and getting to know him, but instead Jenkins spent most of his time looking at his BlackBerry and giving monosyllabic answers to questions. An FT article makes it sound like McFarlane is in no hurry to find Jenkins' replacement, and that he may eventually decide to remove the interim title and make himself the full-time CEO. McFarlane recently told directors that he spent 40 years getting ready for the job of Barclays CEO; further, McFarlane abhors management bureaucracy, which flourished under Jenkins and which McFarlane said he's very eager to dismantle. McFarlane also said Barclays is in dire need of more energy and that he plans to move fast in trying to boost returns by raising revenue, cutting costs and using less capital. Business Insider offered up two nicknames that Barclays employees had for Jenkins: those who liked him called him "Mr. Nice" (for trying to fix all of the bank's illegal practices) and those on the other side who called him "The Wet Handshake" (for unexplained reasons).
Wall Street Journal
Analysts at Evercore ISI appeared to welcome the change in management at Fifth Third Bancorp, saying that new CEO Greg Carmichael would bring "fresh eyes at the top" after "several years of lagging performance." In a Thursday article, American Banker looks at Carmichael's professional background in information technology and how that experience helped him nab the CEO job.
The European Union accused MasterCard of violating antitrust laws by artificially raising the cost of card payments. The EU's parallel investigation into Visa's interchange fees is ongoing. The EU's formal charges against MasterCard could result in fines of up to $950 million for MasterCard.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has implemented a new rule that requires public housing authorities and communities to use data that HUD supplies to reduce racial segregation in housing. Housing authorities must use HUD's historical data to analyze segregation patterns, which HUD Secretary Julian Castro said will "[make] it easier to fulfill the goals of the Fair Housing Act." To help it enforce the new rule, HUD can withhold grant money from communities that fail to address discriminatory policies.
Robots are disrupting the world of Wall Street research. Startups like Narrative Science and Automated Insights have expanded to financial-services companies, adding clients like Allstate and Goldman Sachs. The firms use artificial intelligence to produce information more quickly and cheaply. The expansion into financial services comes as they add algorithms to the artificial intelligence.
The data breach into the federal government's Office of Personnel Management was even bigger than initially thought, as FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday said the White House is set to announce the scope of the breach. Hackers stole "millions and millions" of government background information, dating back 20 years, Comey said in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
New York Times
A strategy used by hedge funds, which was created by Barclays and Deutsche Bank, to achieve billions of dollars in tax savings will now face tougher scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service. Basket options, which are complex financial structures that allow hedge funds to avoid taxes on short-term trades, will now be called listed transactions by the IRS, meaning they have to be listed on tax returns. The change is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011.